The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD supports a number of Research Facilities that provide access to high-end instrumentation analysis. Members of the department, as well as other researchers, are encouraged to take advantage of these facilities to expand their research objectives. The facilities include mass spectrometry, biophysical instrumentation, cryoEM, x-ray, and NMR. Most of the facilities are staffed by Ph.D.-level professionals who provide training, and high-quality molecular analyses.
The UCSD Biomolecule Crystallography Facility supports structural research of large biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids as well as their complexes. The Facility provides access to state-of-the-art crystallography and X-ray diffraction equipment to researchers on campus as well as outside users including industrial laboratories.
Macromolecular, cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional (3D), image-reconstruction techniques are used in our research to visualize viruses and to determine how they interact with their hosts, replicate and mature. Recent technological advances have led to an explosive growth in this field and have allowed researchers to observe molecules and molecular interactions at sub-nanometer resolutions. Microscopists are now more routinely able to trace protein chains, visualize protein-nucleic acid interactions, and to study how lipids play a major role in some enveloped viruses.
The Environmental and Complex Analysis Laboratory (ECAL) is a state-of-the-art analytical facility that houses cutting-edge chromatography and mass spectrometry systems through unique partnerships between UCSD and Thermo Scientific. The facility serves as a platform to develop innovative strategies for performing sensitive, accurate and precise analysis. Novel approaches to providing a comprehensive composition analysis of both complex and environmental samples can be implemented through the following state-of-the-art analytical systems within the ECAL facility: ultra-high resolution hybrid linear ion trap-Orbitrap mass spectrometer (Obritrap Elite), gas chromatograph coupled to a triple-quadrupole detector (GC-TQD), 2-D and 1-D ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) systems with UV/Vis detection (all UPLC systems are capable of being connected to the Orbitrap Elite system), inductively couple plasma quadrupole mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), as well as an ion chromatograph with a conductivity detector. The ECAL facility also houses a variety of extraction platforms to aid in preparing complex samples for analysis.
The Inorganic Materials Characterization Facility (IMCF) is a recharge facility that provides various analytical tools for characterizing inorganic materials at the nanoscale: Nanoparticle size and surface charge (DLS with zeta potential measurement); surface area, pore size, and pore volume (nitrogen porosimetry); Bulk and surface chemistry (Raman and FTIR); optical absorbance and photoluminescence (steady-state and time-resolved reflectance, absorbance, or fluorescence microscopies).
The molecular mass spectrometry facility (MMSF) in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been established to serve the needs of the entire UCSD community. The MMSF is one of the Technical Support Facilities in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Our goal is to provide high quality MS analysis with available technical and educational resources so that researchers can obtain data with a full understanding of their implications.
The MMSF provide routine MS analysis on various types of samples including synthetic organic molecules, synthetic peptides, natural products, organometallic compounds, intact proteins, and oligonucleotides. For peptide sequencing, protein identification, and protein post-translational modifications, please contact the personnel in the Biomolecular MS Facility.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry NMR Facility. Our primary focus is to provide UCSD researchers and external users with access to NMR services and state of the art NMR equipment. The facility is subdivided into two centers: the Chemistry NMR facility, located in Pacific Hall, and the Biomolecular NMR facility, located in the basement of the Natural Science Building.
The overall goals of the Biomolecular/Proteomics Mass Spectrometry Facility are to collaborate with university of California San Diego (UCSD) researchers and to collect the highest quality mass spectrometry data possible on biological samples. The facility is actively engaged in developing proteomic technologies and also provides access to more routine instrumentation for protein and peptide mass spec analyses.
The X-ray Crystallography Facility provides consultation and services for academia, industry and governmental laboratories in the derivation and analysis of crystal structures. The UCSD Crystallography Facility is a cost effective resource, which can provide fast, accurate, and confidential results at a reasonable rate. The facility can complete data collection and analysis with a one-day turn around. The facility provides personnel who are highly experienced in crystallography methodology.